STONEHAM — It had been quite some time that the Wilmington boy’s hockey team beat Burlington, a streak that had spanned 16 games back to 2013, but that streak came to an end on Monday night at the Stoneham Arena.
Michael Daniels scored two goals and senior goaltender Liam Crowley made 26 saves and Wilmington took a convincing 4-1 victory, ending years of frustration for the Wildcats and coach Steve Scanlon.
“We will take the win as it’s been a long time since we have taken a point from those guys,” said Scanlon. “We usually struggle to keep up with them skating wise, but we have a pretty good skating team. As we start our way through the division schedule this week, that is a big win for us.”
The game started even with both teams generate shots from the outside, but Wilmington opened the scoring late in the first period on a fluky goal.
A Burlington defender attempted to rattle a clearing pass one off the right-wing half-wall, but the clearing attempt hit a leg and popped into the air and bounced past Burlington goalie Camden Shanahan. Tristian DiMeco was credited with the goal and Wilmington led 1-0.
Late in the first period, Burlington had a glorious chance when Will McLean was free in the slot, but Crowley denied him from in close to keep the lead at one.
The Wildcats seized control of the game in the second period, scoring twice in a span of 1:25.
Nathaniel Packer attempted a wraparound from behind the Burlington cage that Shanahan stopped but William Alworth stuffed home the rebound for a 2-0 Wilmington lead.
Daniels would score his first of the night when he cruised down the right-wing side and fired a wrist shot over the glove of Shanahan to extend the lead to 3-0, prompting a Burlington time-out and goalie change.
The break seemed to energize the Devils who got on the board midway through the second period when Ricky Sheppard finished off the rebound of a Brady Yutkins bid to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Wilmington didn’t make it easy on themselves in the third period handing the Devils two power play opportunities, but Crowley stood tall in the Wilmington cage as he has all season.
“He has been our guy all the way through,” said Scanlon of his senior netminder. “Even early on when we got it taken to us by Reading and those teams, he was phenomenal. He has been very steady. He is a good technical goalie, and he makes the saves he should, and he will make some big saves.”
Daniels iced the game for Wilmington while shorthanded in the third period when he collected a soft aerial pass from Nathan Alberti and fired a shot over the blocker of Chris Busby.
All that was left was for Crowley to finish the game off, making ten third period saves and giving the Wildcats their third straight win, and a win a long time coming over Burlington.
DiMeco, Alworth, Daniels (2) had the goals, while, Packer and Alberti had one assist each.
Wilmington (3-3) hosted Wakefield at Ristuccia Arena on Wednesday night with results not known as of presstime.